Can You Get Headaches From Not Drinking Alcohol?

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The Link Between Alcohol and Headaches

If you’ve ever had a hangover, you know that alcohol can cause headaches. But what about the opposite? Can not drinking alcohol actually cause headaches? The answer is yes.

Alcohol Withdrawal Headaches

If you’re a heavy drinker and suddenly stop, you may experience alcohol withdrawal headaches. These headaches can be severe and may last for several days. They’re caused by the sudden decrease in alcohol in your system, which can lead to changes in blood flow and blood vessels in your brain.

Dehydration Headaches

Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it causes you to urinate more and can lead to dehydration. Dehydration can cause headaches, so if you’re not drinking enough fluids when you stop drinking alcohol, you may experience dehydration headaches.

Stress and Anxiety Headaches

Alcohol can help you relax and reduce stress and anxiety. If you’re not drinking alcohol, you may experience more stress and anxiety, which can lead to tension headaches.

Sleep Disruption Headaches

Alcohol can also disrupt your sleep, which can lead to headaches. If you’re not drinking alcohol, but you’re not getting enough sleep, you may experience sleep disruption headaches.

Migraines and Alcohol

If you suffer from migraines, alcohol can trigger an attack. However, if you stop drinking alcohol, you may also experience migraine headaches as your body adjusts to the change.

How to Prevent Headaches When Quitting Alcohol

If you’re planning to quit drinking alcohol, there are several things you can do to prevent headaches:

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water and other fluids to prevent dehydration headaches.

Reduce Stress

Find ways to reduce stress and anxiety, such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing.

Get Enough Sleep

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep each night to prevent sleep disruption headaches.

Avoid Triggers

If you suffer from migraines, avoid alcohol and other triggers that can cause an attack.


In conclusion, you can get headaches from not drinking alcohol, especially if you’re a heavy drinker. Alcohol withdrawal headaches, dehydration headaches, stress and anxiety headaches, sleep disruption headaches, and migraines can all be caused by not drinking alcohol. However, by staying hydrated, reducing stress, getting enough sleep, and avoiding triggers, you can prevent these headaches and successfully quit drinking alcohol.